How Story Point Estimation Can Help Managers
21 August 2015
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In the world of Scrum, we have only three roles: product owner, ScrumMaster, and the team. But in reality, we could have a manager who might be internal or external to the Scrum team. In this case, we think of our manager as our stakeholder or business partner, or the one who owns the project team. As a manager for the team, the person should always be curious about the productivity and the performance of each team member and of the team as a whole. So in this article, we will consider how story point estimation can be used to validate team performance.
A user story is a collection of tasks for the team to complete, and the story point estimation is the measure that represents the complexity or effort required to finish the story. A story point estimation can be sized based on different factors such as dependencies, external resources, impediments, etc. Therefore, it might not be a good idea to measure a team member's productivity or performance based on story points. Because user stories are completed by the team, I support the use of story points as a good measure for evaluating the performance and productivity of the team.
The term velocity that is used in Scrum is the total story points achieved by the team by the end of each sprint. I agree that for the initial sprints on the journey to being Agile, it shouldn't be an accurate value, but we should gradually become more accurate after each sprint. To get a more accurate velocity measure of the team, we must make sure that we have a good Definition of Done, a strong story point estimation method, and that we use the historical data cleverly during sprint planning. Another important point is to have the simplest user stories to estimate. That doesn't mean that you do only the simplest jobs but that you should avoid calculating estimates on epics.
By checking the story points and velocity charts, managers should be able to plan the new releases more effectively. So I strongly recommend that you use story point estimation accurately and regularly to improve the productivity and performance of each Scrum team. This estimation will bring a bright future to you and your organization by helping you use Scrum effectively as you become more Agile.
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